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Appellate

  • May 17, 2019

    Music Industry Execs Denied Claim To Michael Jackson Co.

    The Michael Jackson Co. is solely owned by the late entertainer's estate and not by a group of entertainment industry executives claiming the King of Pop promised them partial ownership prior to his death, a California appellate court said Thursday, affirming a lower court's findings.

  • May 17, 2019

    Widower Wrongfully Denied Husband's Pension, 9th Circ. Says

    The Ninth Circuit cleared the way for a widower to receive spousal pension benefits on Thursday, saying a lower court was wrong to deny him benefits on the grounds that the couple were domestic partners when the man’s late husband retired.

  • May 17, 2019

    Airplane Broker Can't Slip 7-Year Sentence For Skimming

    The Eleventh Circuit said Friday that the lower court did not err in ordering a 90-month prison sentence, and more than $600,000 in restitution, for a former airplane salesman convicted of skimming from his employer.

  • May 17, 2019

    Inconsistent Jury Answers Nix Conn. Town’s Injury Trial Win

    A split Connecticut appellate panel on Friday ordered a new trial in a suit accusing a town of causing a man’s injuries when he fell from a municipal retaining wall, saying the jury’s findings were inconsistent and should have been ruled invalid as a matter of law.

  • May 17, 2019

    Are Monkeys The Same As Pigs? Fed. Circ. Says Yes In Patent

    You may not find them in the same part of the zoo, but the Federal Circuit isn't distinguishing between monkeys and pigs in a Friday ruling that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board correctly struck down a patent for a hooded blanket with a plush pig on top despite the inventor's attempts to differentiate it from an earlier patent for a hooded sweatshirt with a plush monkey.

  • May 17, 2019

    NJ Judge Won't Toss Domino's Wage Suit Without Seeing Deal

    A New Jersey federal judge on Friday rejected separate bids to toss a proposed class action against a company that operates Domino’s Pizza franchises, saying the business must turn over a purported settlement agreement for the court’s approval or swear that there is no deal to resolve claims of Fair Labor Standards Act violations.

  • May 17, 2019

    9th Circ. Says Tesla Can Arbitrate Worker's Race Bias Claims

    A black Tesla employee who says he was constantly subjected to racial epithets, harassment and threats at work and then ignored when he complained must pursue his claims in arbitration, the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday, with the chief judge saying the panel's hand was forced by precedent.

  • May 17, 2019

    7th Circ. Weighs Helicopter, Gun Use In Wis. Recreation Area

    The Seventh Circuit wrestled Friday over whether the federal government should have allowed off-road motorcycle riding, dog training with guns and military helicopter training in a Wisconsin recreational area, questioning if the activities would fall under the recreational uses the state initially intended for the area.

  • May 17, 2019

    Texas High Court Allows Taking Of Developer's Land For Road

    A divided Texas Supreme Court said on Friday the City of Rowlett, Texas, had the authority to condemn land owned by a private developer even though the move helped a rival developer and a private business, deciding that there was a valid public use driving the decision.

  • May 17, 2019

    Group Got $17M Secret Donation Ahead Of Kavanaugh Fight

    The Judicial Crisis Network received $17 million from an anonymous donor shortly before the fight to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh, according to two government watchdog groups that obtained the conservative judicial group's latest tax returns.

  • May 17, 2019

    Don't Reduce Arbitration To 'Sham' Proceeding, 5th Circ. Told

    China’s state-run aerospace corporation again told the Fifth Circuit on Thursday to overturn the confirmation of a $70 million award over a soured joint venture, arguing that the prevailing companies' perspective would turn arbitrations into “sham proceedings.”

  • May 17, 2019

    DC Circ. Won't Block EPA Small Refiner RFS Waiver Action

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday refused to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from granting new exemptions to small refiners from the Renewable Fuel Standard program while a biofuel industry group challenges the agency's allegedly revised policy for reviewing exemption requests.

  • May 17, 2019

    4th Circ. Says Planned Termination Of DACA Is Illegal

    A split Fourth Circuit panel on Friday threw out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's planned rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, finding that the Trump administration had not adequately explained its decision to roll back the Obama-era policy.

  • May 17, 2019

    8th Circ. Won't Rehear Honeywell's Retiree Health Care Win

    The Eighth Circuit has rejected Honeywell retirees' request to revisit a March panel ruling that gave Honeywell a green light to cut off health care benefits for workers who retired before they turned 65 years old.

  • May 17, 2019

    FCC Challenger Loses At DC Circ. Over One-Day Delay

    A Hawaii-based telecom carrier appealed a subsidy dispute with the Federal Communications Commission one day too late, the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday, leading the agency's general counsel to call out the incident as a cautionary tale for attorneys.

  • May 17, 2019

    How Supreme Court Conservatives Have Shaped The FCA

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s latest False Claims Act ruling didn’t just decide how much time whistleblowers have to launch fraud cases — it added to a long line of FCA opinions written by right-leaning justices, who have authored virtually all of the high court’s modern FCA precedent.

  • May 17, 2019

    Prosecutors Evade Cop's Released Expunged Records Suit

    An internal affairs police officer at a New Jersey military base cannot sue a county prosecutor's office for releasing his expunged criminal records to a patrolman he had investigated because he did not file a tort claim notice within the requisite time frame, a state appeals court said Friday.

  • May 17, 2019

    Nurses Were Paid Hourly, Not On Salary, Texas Justices Say

    A Texas hospital never intended to pay four nursing supervisors an annual salary instead of an hourly wage, and therefore didn't short them on income, the state's highest court held Friday.

  • May 17, 2019

    EPA Can't Justify Emissions Policy Change, DC Circ. Told

    A new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy that allows an easier permit review process for projects that won't significantly increase emissions gives polluters carte blanche to flout national air quality standards, the Sierra Club has told the D.C. Circuit.

  • May 17, 2019

    5th Circ. Wants Redo Of Law Funder's $3M Award Against Atty

    A Fifth Circuit panel has tossed nearly $3 million in damages a litigation financing firm won after an attorney it hired failed to disclose his close ties to a judge in an underlying divorce case, finding a Texas federal court erred in its calculations.

Expert Analysis

  • The Looming Constitutional Impact Of A Naughty Trademark

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on the "scandalous" trademark in Iancu v. Brunetti bears the potential to microscope a smorgasbord of First Amendment principles with significance well beyond the intellectual property sphere, says Ben Clark of Bryan Cave.

  • The Precarious State Of Public Injunction Waivers In Calif.

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    Two years ago, in McGill v. Citibank, the California Supreme Court made arbitration agreements that preclude consumers from seeking public injunctive relief unenforceable. But some federal courts have deviated from that holding so as to make its future uncertain, say Brian Kabateck and Brian Hong of Kabateck.

  • Q&A

    A Chat With Gilead Sciences Legal Ops Leader Gary Tully

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    In this monthly series, legal recruiting experts from Major Lindsey & Africa interview legal industry leaders about the increasingly competitive business environment. Here, Rod Osborne talks with Gary Tully, head of legal operations at Gilead Sciences.

  • More Courts Are Applying IPR Estoppel Expansively

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    Recent district court decisions confirm that the broad view of inter partes review estoppel is the prevailing — and perhaps the only — view after the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 decision in SAS Institute v. Iancu, say Brett Cooper and Kevin Schubert of McKool Smith.

  • High Court Hyatt Decision Will Limit State Tax Appeal Options

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    This week’s straightforward U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt was rooted in sovereign immunity concepts and is unlikely to have ongoing state tax impacts other than limiting where taxpayers can bring suit, says Jeffrey Reed of Kilpatrick Townsend.

  • DC Circ.'s Chance To Clarify 'Should Have Known' Liability

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    With its upcoming decision in Thaddeus North v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the D.C. Circuit should articulate a clear legal standard for when a compliance officer “should have known” about reportable events. Without such guidance, compliance officers cannot do their jobs without fearing unintended consequences, say Brian Rubin and Michelle McIntyre of Eversheds Sutherland.

  • Property Insurers: Beware Getting Stuck In Texas State Court

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    Texas federal courts have split over how an election of liability affects property insurers' ability to remove lawsuits from state to federal court. Until the Fifth Circuit weighs in, out-of-state carriers must make timely decisions to avoid being stranded in state court, say Matthew Kolodoski and Harrison Yoss of Thompson Coe.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: Completing The Journey Home

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    My mother's connection to her Native American heritage had a major influence on my career — my decision to enter the legal profession was driven by the desire to return to my tribal community and help it in any way I could, says Jason Hauter of Akin Gump.

  • The Problem With 9th Circ. CFPB Leadership Structure Ruling

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    In Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Seila Law, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the CFPB’s single-director structure is constitutional. However, the opinion applies the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Humphrey’s Executor v. U.S. in a way that ignores that decision's fundamental holding, says Alan Kaplinsky of Ballard Spahr.

  • DC Circ. Gives New Meaning To 'Willful' In Securities Statutes

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    The D.C. Circuit’s recent decision in The Robare Group v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission drives home the idea that long-accepted interpretations of federal securities laws may be upended when appellate courts take a fresh look at the statutory language, say attorneys at Debevoise & Plimpton.